Treatment + lifestyle changes to tackle it

Recurrent pregnancy loss is when a woman suffers from more than 2 abortions in her reproductive life. Many of these women give up hope and tend to give up trying to get pregnant. But there is hope, and medical science has evolved enough to help these women carry their pregnancies up to term.

Many women abort at some point in life. Abortion can happen due to various reasons. Moreover, having an abortion does not mean that a woman will have a new abortion if she tries to get pregnant again. However, some women suffer from more than one abortion and this can be referred to as recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). They tend to get worried that something is seriously wrong with them or they have done something wrong during their pregnancy. RPL is often a natural process and has an underlying cause that can be treated.

We talked to Dr Rita Hinduja, Fertility consultant at Nova IVF Fertility to understand more about RPL and what can be done in case of it. Here’s what she had to say:

If you have recurrent pregnancy loss, the underlying cause will be assessed by the expert. Then a treatment line will be decided for you to increase the likelihood of continuing your pregnancy until the term.

1. Surgery

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Uterine surgery

Your treating physician will resolve some problems in the uterus (womb), such as extra tissue that divides the uterus (septum), some fibroids (benign tumors), or scar tissue. Correcting the shape on the inside of the uterus will be helpful in lowering the risk of miscarriage. Here, a tool with a camera (hysteroscope) is passed through the vagina to repair the inside of the uterus. This is a day care procedure, and improvement is seen within a few days to a week, depending on the size of the surgery.

2. Blood thinners

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Blood thinners

Those with autoimmune or coagulation problems (thrombophilia) will be put on a low dose of aspirin and heparin. These drugs are taken during pregnancy to minimize the chances of miscarriage. Do not take these medicines without your doctor’s knowledge.

Deal with other medical problems immediately

Recurrent pregnancy loss can occur due to various causes such as abnormal blood sugar levels, an over- or underactive thyroid gland or high levels of the hormone prolactin. Dealing with these conditions will increase the chances of a healthy, full-time pregnancy.

4. Genetic screening

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Genetic screening

Some have a rearrangement (translocation) of their chromosome, leading to chromosomal imbalances, and then there will be an abortion. If a chromosome problem is detected, you will be suggested genetic counseling. Although many couples with translocations can achieve pregnancy. In some cases, your doctor will recommend fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

In this procedure, eggs and sperm are combined outside the body in a laboratory. After IVF, before the embryos are implanted in the uterus, they are tested via (pre-implantation genetic test). The embryos are then implanted without translocations to improve pregnancy outcomes.

The last word

It is important for women with RPL to adopt healthy lifestyle. Quitting smoking, alcohol, caffeine, use of illegal drugs will reduce the risk of miscarriage. In addition, being overweight is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage. Thus, weight loss can improve pregnancy outcomes. There is no available evidence that stress, anxiety or mild depression cause RPL. However, these worrying problems can be seen after an RPL. Psychological support and counseling will be beneficial for the couples in dealing with the emotional pain of abortion and creating a healthy pregnancy environment.

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